Speaking to MUTV [as per the club’s official website], the Dutch coach has explained how he plans to use the 19-year-old this season, intimating that Red Devils fans shouldn’t expect too much from their new man immediately.
“Maybe he can show signals of his quality this season. We can build him up and, at the right time, he can enter the game,” the manager began, discussing his new high-profile addition.
“He is a young player and has already played for Monaco’s first team and in the Champions League,” van Gaal continued, speaking to the club’s official television station.
“He is the best of his age and that’s why he bought him.
“But we have to wait and see. He is 19 years old and he has to adapt. You have seen how [Angel] Di Maria struggled here and he was 27, and [Radamel] Falcao was 29.
“We have to give him time but it’s difficult because fans are reading in the media about the money we paid for him, and they think he shall score at once, but it is not like that.
“We are living in a crazy world and now we have to pay that kind of money because, otherwise, he would have gone to another club. We bought him because we need a striker in the future.”
Martial moved to Old Trafford in a £36 million deal, with the fee possibly rising to £58 million including add-ons BBC Sport]. Naturally, the considerable price of the move has attracted much attention, with Martial becoming both the most expensive Frenchman and the most expensive teenager when he swapped Ligue 1 for the Premier League.
However, while van Gaal appears keen to take his time introducing Martial to the EPL, he may not have much of a choice.
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United have demonstrated themselves to be short of firepower in the league so far this season, managing only three goals in their four league appearances to date. By contrast, league leaders Manchester City have found the net 10 times, while even bottom-of-the-league Sunderland have hit six.
Similarly, having lost Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and, latterly, Adnan Januzaj, United can hardly call upon a litany of offensive options in order to take the strain as Martial finds his feet.